Wider Waistline May Mean Shorter Lifespan: Study

Having a big belly means big trouble when it comes to your health, researchers warn.

They analyzed data from 11 studies that included more than 600,000 people worldwide and found that people with large waist circumferences were at increased risk of dying younger and dying from conditions such as heart disease, lung problems and cancer.

Men with waists of 43 inches or more had a 50 percent higher risk of death than those with waists less than 35 inches. This equated to a three-year lower life expectancy after age 40, according to the study.

Women with waists of 37 inches or more had an 80 percent higher risk of death than those with waists of 27 inches or less, which equated to a five-year lower life expectancy after age 40.
The larger the waist, the greater the risk, the researchers said. For every 2 inches of increased waist circumference, the risk of death increased 7 percent in men and 9 percent in women, according to the study, which was published in the March issue of the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Although the review found an association between larger waist size and risk of death at a younger age, it didn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

The link between a big belly and increased risk of death was seen even among people whose body-mass index (BMI) was within the healthy range, the researchers found. BMI is an estimate of body fat based on height and weight.

“BMI is not a perfect measure,” study lead author Dr. James Cerhan, an epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic, said in a journal news release. “It doesn’t discriminate lean mass from fat mass, and it also doesn’t say anything about where your weight is located. We worry about that because extra fat in your belly has a metabolic profile that is associated with diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.”

When assessing patients, doctors need to consider both waist size and BMI.

“The primary goal should be preventing both a high BMI and a large waist circumference,” Cerhan said. “For those patients who have a large waist, trimming down even a few inches — through exercise and diet — could have important health benefits.”

Source: Web md

More Body Fat Raises Ovarian Cancer Risk, Study Suggests

The more a woman weighs, the greater her risk of ovarian cancer, a new report suggests.

It adds to strong suspicions that weight is somehow linked to ovarian cancer, one of the deadliest cancers and one that kills 14,000 U.S. women every year. And it adds ovarian cancer to a list of cancers affected by obesity or body fat, including breast cancer, colon cancer, endometrial cancer, kidney cancer and pancreatic cancer.

There’s also a link with height, although it’s not as strong as the evidence showing that weight, especially body fat, raises the risk, the American Institute for Cancer Research reports.

A team at the AICR looked at 25 studies with data on 4 million women, 16,000 of whom developed ovarian cancer.

“Greater body fatness is a probable cause of ovarian cancer in women,” the report concludes.

“This is an important finding because it shows a way for women to reduce their chances of getting ovarian cancer,” said Dr. Elisa Bandera of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, who helped write the study. “There is so much we don’t know about preventing ovarian cancer, but now we can tell women that keeping to a healthy weight can help protect against this deadly disease.”

Both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute list obesity as a suspected cause of ovarian cancer.

But the AICR report suggests that a woman doesn’t have to be obese — with a BMI of 30 or greater — for the risk to start growing. Even overweight women have a higher risk, the data suggests, starting at a BMI of about 28, which is considered overweight but not quite obese. (There’s a BMI calculator here).

There are many reasons why fat may raise cancer risk. Fat cells secrete estrogen, a hormone that can help fuel cancer, and people who are overweight or obese have overall higher levels of inflammation, which can affect heart disease and cancer risk alike. Fat cells produce other hormones, such as leptin and growth factors, that may affect the out-of-control cell growth that underlies cancer.

It’s also possible that something else is driving both body growth and cancer — perhaps a genetic cause.

The AICR report looked for evidence of other causes of ovarian cancer but could not find enough evidence to implicate any specific foods such as eggs, milk, coffee, tea, meat, fats or vitamins.

Source: NBC news